We’ve used these for a good few months and here are the good and bad bits of getting one of them
In the world of helmet communication devices, you have the established players like Sena and Cardo who have been at it for a good while and offer great products at quite steep prices. Then you have the local China- or South East Asia-sourced options that are cheap and not exactly reliable. TVS has come up with a budget-friendly options for Indian bikers, working closely with BluArmor, to create the S20X and S10X helmet comm sets. We have used them for a good couple of months and here’s what we liked and what we didn’t about them so far:
Wide speakers and a sporty race-inspired helmet, not a good combination. Hence, the speakers that you get with either, while being the same thick units, start irritating you a few hours into your ride. Hence, a slimmer proportion would have been ideal.
The volume control setting on the comm set and the phone are independent of each other, or at least that is for the iPhone. So, there are sort of two levels of volume control which could’ve been completely eliminated if only the volume up or down feature on the comm set matches the levels on the phone.
This is a dislike only for the S10X because it being the more affordable version of the two only gets one-to-one device connection. Hence, if you are riding with a couple of your buddies who have the S10X and you want to create a connection, you will only be able to do so with one. And that too will act like a phone call of sorts. So, no music would be playing when the connection is established. For a more seamless intercom like experience, you will have to opt for the S20X.
One of the reasons why the S10X or the S20X look porky is because they pack a sufficiently large battery. I have used it for a fair few trips and rides. I had charged it fully once before a Pune-Goa trip. And despite it remaining active for the entirety of the journey to and fro, plus the roaming around in Goa for four days, there was still 20 percent battery level left.
BluArmor has worked in conjunction with JBL to create the speakers for the comm set. Hence, there’s very little to complain when it comes to the sound quality on offer from these units. On the go, the audio quality is pretty good and loud enough to hear easily even when you are wearing ear-plugs. Listening to podcasts during highway stints becomes an issue but no problems when it comes to heart thumping music.
Operating the comm sets are very intuitive. Three buttons, which are decently spaced, control the various operations. Even invoking voice assistance apps like Siri is an easy affair.
The S10X costs Rs 8499 and the S20X costs Rs 10,999. For the additional 2500 rupees you are getting basically the chance to connect up to 20 helmet comm sets at a time. So, if you are often riding in a large group, you would be better off with the S20X, and it is rather affordable when compared to the more established players.
However, I would rather save the extra money and opt for the S10X. For starters, I prefer riding solo or with one or two buddies at the max. I don’t like talking much during the ride with them as we often end up sharing notes at stops or understanding hand and body signals on the go. And given that everything good in terms of sound and battery is common, it just makes it a no brainer for most.
When compared to other options available in the market, these TVS offerings are certainly priced way below decently specced out options from Cardo and Sena while offering just as much tech. There are also cheaper Chinese or South East Asia sourced products in the market but in our experience, they do not quite last that long.
The only good alternative that we have tested and is around the same ballpark amount is the Parani A10 which is priced at Rs 8000. It is certainly a lot more affordable than the S20X and can allow you to do intercom duties effortlessly with up to four units, something which the S10X can’t. However, the sound quality isn’t the best, and battery life in comparison is far less, lasting one whole day’s worth of riding at best.
Hence, I would still end up recommending the S10X to most buyers who primarily ride solo and the Parani for riders who ride in a small group.
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